Approximately 26 million children trooped to major public and some private schools during the opening of classes today nationwide. But the annual event did not hog the headlines as it would normally do. This, as the country was gripped with the attack by a lone gunman at the elite Resorts World Manila last dawn Friday. Foremost in the minds of the many was the question whether the attack was a terrorist assault grave enough to precipitate a martial law declaration nationwide, and graver still, that it would impede the school opening today.
No To Terrorism, Yes To Just Peace is a broad alliance of peace advocates based in the education sector. We are calling on our fellow citizens to take a firm stand against terrorism by struggling for just peace.
The Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC) sends its solidarity with communities at the forefront of struggles for the environment in time for this year’s World Environment Day.
The Ateneo de Davao University condemns the violence and terrorism that victimized Marawi City. It was perpetrated by an extremist group that uses murder, hatred and destruction to propagate its ideology of religious intolerance. This violence is not confined to Marawi but increasingly threatens all the peoples of Mindanao-Sulu.
The answer is not controlling information and threatening the media and the public of censorship, but government’s ensuring that complete and accurate information is accessible to the public.
This is what we ask of the negotiators on both sides of the table. Do not be afraid to take the bold steps that alone can bring peace. Intransigence is not strength. Humility is. That one has stood one’s ground is not necessarily the best that can be said of anyone. That he has sown the seeds of peace is to say of a person that he is blessed!
A Martial Law limited in scope, enforced with discipline and restraint, with respect for the Constitution and the inviolability of human rights, can solve specific problems. An unrestrained Martial Law, one that keeps its decisions and movements quiet and secret from its citizens, unconcerned with human dignity, will only compound the problem it seeks to solve.
In the strongest terms we condemn terrorism in its various forms. It is an ideology that is totally against the tenets of any religion of peace. Especially so when terrorism is perpetrated while our Muslim brothers and sisters are preparing for the holy month of Ramadhan. Terrorism distorts and falsifies the true meaning of any religion. It destroys harmonious relationships among peoples of different faiths. It creates a world of suspicion and prejudice, of hatred and hostility.
Karapatan strongly urge Duterte to immediately lift martial law in Mindanao, and to stop loaded caveats regarding putting the entire country under martial law. There are inviolable rights that cannot be foregone, regardless of place, time or context.
Sowing the Seeds of Peace opposes the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. Martial Law throws out the headways in the peace processes between the Philippine government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.